Airmen from the U.S. Air Force‘s active-duty 388th and reserve 419 Fighter Wings have performed joint training exercises on F-35A, F-15C and F-15E aircraft variants at a military air base near Lakenheath, England.
The Air Force said Thursday that it conducted various sorties alongside members of the 48th Fighter Wing, the U.K. air force and other NATO allies.
Pilots from participating fighter squadrons have flown against each other as part of the training aimed to help fourth- and fifth-generation airmen exchange notes and prepare for potential air combat scenarios.
“We’ve been flying basic fighter maneuvers and air combat maneuvers, as well as air to ground missions,” said Lt. Col. George Watkins, an F-35 pilot and commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron.
“We fight air to air to get to simulated ground targets and once we take them out, we fight air-to-air to get back to our designated ‘safe’ zone.”
The Air Force noted the exercises marked the F-35A’s first flight training deployment to Europe.